After 104 days: Rafah Crossing open today and tomorrow for travel in both directions

The crossing was closed on a total of 306 days during 2015. Photo: Gisha.

The crossing was closed on a total of 306 days during 2015. Photo: Gisha.

December 3, 2015. Rafah crossing opened today for two days for entrance of Palestinians from Egypt into Gaza, and for exits of those meeting Egypt’s criteria for transit from Gaza into Egypt: medical patients with a referral, students and individuals with foreign residency or foreign passports.

The crossing was closed for the past 48 days. The last time the crossing was open was in October, when it operated for three days, for entrance of people into the Gaza Strip only (4,055 people managed to cross). The last time the crossing operated in both directions was in August, 104 days ago.

During the course of 2015, Rafah has closed on a total of 306 days. During the 11 months from January – November 2015 a monthly average of 2,397 crossings in both directions were recorded where during the first half of 2013, when the crossing operated more regularly, a monthly average of 40,816 crossings were recorded.

At Erez Crossing, 14,990 exits of Palestinians were recorded during the month of November. Seventy-seven percent were of merchants and medical patients and their companions. This represents a small fraction of the over 500,000 exits recorded monthly in the year 2000 when restrictions on travel were less severe.